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Sabine Fuss

Sustainability goals are clearly threatened by the impacts of ongoing climate change. Yet, the fact that climate change mitigation has been delayed and that we are now faced with lower carbon budgets and have less time to achieve the even more ambitious temperature targets pronounced in the Paris Agreement pose an enormous challenge to humanity. The Paris Agreement declares it as an aim ‘to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development’—acknowledging that such a huge mitigation challenge in itself can imply trade-offs with other sustainable development goals. For example, the large amounts of biomass to be cultivated for bioenergy in the low stabilization pathways are feared to be at odds with the goals of ensuring food security and safeguarding terrestrial ecosystems. However, many mitigation options also have positive interactions with sustainable development goals. This chapter reviews the knowledge that has emerged on the interactions between climate change and sustainable development over the past 30 years. It highlights the most important debates and offers an extended perspective on the global response to the threat of climate change in the context of sustainable development.